Travelling as a family of four, I am happy report that this is one exclusive resort that caters well to families. The resort area is made up of 5 islands which are only a few hundred meters apart-
1) anantara veli - slightly cheaper rates but for couples only. I think they have water villas only
2) anantara dhigu - water villas and beach villas for couples and families
3) naladhu - exclusive private island with 19 beach houses
4) admin island - for staff
5) picnic island - small uninhabited island
islands (1) and (2) connect by a 5 minutely boat service and (2) and (3) by a bridge. You can walk to picnic island on low tide or by kayak. There are three restaurants each in Dhigu and Veli, and each have a spa.
Here's a few thoughts/tips.
- Like a few of the previous reviewers, we booked through Paradise Atoll which I found very helpful and professional. They were also cheaper than the internet booking sites like agoda and expedia. We were met at the airport and whisked away by boat to the resort.
- Because of our 3 yr old, we elected to stay in the beach villa instead of the water villa. Having been there now, I am quite glad I did that as the kids loved playing on the beach. First thing they did when they woke up was to walk out of the villa and play in the sand with the hermit crabs whilst we stayed in bed. We probably wouldn't let them wander out alone if we were in a water villa.
- The kids club teachers were great and our 9yo daughter wanted to go there everyday. The program changes from day to day. Even though the resort was near capacity, the club didnt have too many kids(4-5 usually) so those that were there had plenty of attention.
- I'm glad we stayed in the sunset villas. A bit of shade during the mornings when the kids were out on the beach but also less wind during the day. Consequently the sea here is usually almost flat with no swell - perfect for the little ones plus you get to see some pretty spectacular sunsets. Also the sunset villas face the lagoon while the sunrise villas are closer to the open ocean and see more swell.
- Some of the beach villas have their own plunge pool. We didnt get one of these and I dont think you'll be using this too much since the lagoon is like a giant bathtub with fish and the resort's infinity pool is pretty spectacular. The villa itself was quite clean and modern and we had absolutely no problems during our 1 week stay here.
- there is wifi throughout the island but it is slow. At best, I measured up and download speeds at 0.8Mbps. You'll be able to check emails but forget about streaming media.
- on rainy nights, you can get a dvd from the library to watch in your villa. There's a lot of mature content so one suggestion to the management is that they could do with more children movies.
-a few good snorkle areas around the house reef, picnic island and veli villas. You'll see lots of reef fish (ie lionfish, reef sharks and stingrays). We brought our own snorkle equipment but one can also borrow them from Aquafanatics. You also have 2 hours free with the kayaks/day so good idea to make use of this to explore around the lagoon.
-we had a bed and breakfast family package with breakfast included for all. There is slightly more choice if you have breakfast at the Veli instead of Dhigu but overall they are both quite similar. In general, the breakfast buffet selection is at best adequate and certainly not exhaustive (ala Shang-rila). For lunch and dinner - kids<7 eating for free and <12 for half price at most but not all the restaurants. Remember to add 16% taxes to all the prices on the menu. Pretax coke is USD$5 a glass and sparkling water is $10 a bottle. Between the four of us, lunch/dinner bills were approx $150 each time. We liked the Thai at Veli best and we mainly ate here. The Japanese at Veli and Italian at Dhigu were average. Some nights when the kids were tired, we ate in the room but the kids pricing plans dont apply for inroom dining.
I have no hesitation recommending the resort for families.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An idyllic tropical island paradise set in the South Male Atoll, just half an hour from Male international Airport, Anantara offers the Maldives resort experience you've only dreamt about, with two lush islands, Dhigufinolhu and Veligandu Huraa. Unwind on endless white sand beaches, palm-fringed islands and pristine coral reefs. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Anantara Dhigu Resort And Spa
- Anantara Dhigu Hotel South Male Atoll
- Anantara Resort Maldives
- Anantara Maldives
- Anantara Hotel Maldives